Pharmacy Assistants work as part of a Pharmacy Team under the direction of a registered Pharmacist.
The work includes taking in and handing out prescriptions, dispensing prescriptions, using computer systems to generate stock lists and labels, ordering items, receiving, loading, unloading deliveries, delivering medicines to other parts of a hospital or health center and selling over-the-counter medicines. You may also be answering customer’s questions face to face or by phone, pre-packing, assembling and labelling medicines, preparing medicines and referring problems or queries to the pharmacist.
Pharmacy Assistants can also be involved in manufacturing medicines when ready-made preparations are not available. For example, certain cancer treatments and intravenous feeding solutions need to be tailor made under sterile conditions for individual patients.
You will need to be accurate and methodical, responsible, pay attention to detail, understand law and guidelines on medicines, read and carry out instruction, be interested in people’s health and explain things clearly to members of the public. You will also need excellent communication, customer service, IT and manual skills.
There are no set entry requirements to become a Pharmacy Assistant. Employers usually expect good literacy, numeracy and IT skills. They may ask for GCSEs or equivalent qualifications. You will be given the training you need to be a member of the pharmacy team. This includes health and safety, use of IT systems, manufacturing medicines and dispensing prescriptions. You may be offered the chance to study for qualifications such as an NVQ Level 2 in Pharmacy Service Skills or a BTEC level 2 in pharmaceutical science. Although there are no set entry requirements, here you can find further information on apprenticeships and BTEC Qualifications.
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